12HIGH

12HIGH partnered with Water 3 to perform a digital audit. This resulted in a clear strategy and a new approach to digital marketing technology selection.

Water3 makes quality water easily accessible without the need for disposable plastic bottles. They have distributed hundreds of water dispensing machines all over Australia. From these machines, customers simply tap their RFID connected lids and fill up. All for a fraction of the price of bottled water. Even better, it comes in still and sparkled… and doesn’t kill any turtles!

Water 3 Dispensing Machine

Water3 engaged 12HIGH to perform a digital and eCommerce audit. The team had done an incredible job to establish the product in market. It was now time to set up to scale.

“With 12HIGH, it was kind of like, “Hey, come and see what we’re doing, help us understand what we’re missing. Because we don’t know where we’re at.” Damien Stone, Water3 Co-founder.

12HIGH worked with Water3 to deliver a customer journey review, competitor analysis, on site behaviour audit, technology stack review, marketing and sales analysis and an internal capabilities and process review.

“We’ve integrated a couple of third-party apps and software that we probably were going to try and do ourselves. It enabled us to have some candid conversations about the direction of our technology with an independent team there that’s not trying to sell a piece of software.” Damien Stone, Water3 Co-founder.

After a series of 1:1 interviews and a workshop, 12HIGH were able to deliver Water3 with:

  • A concise summary of strengths and opportunities
  • Prioritised digital and eCommerce focus areas to grow the business
  • Identified quick wins for the Water3 team to immediately action
  • A three month plan to kick start their transformation

A great team. An innovative product. A mission to save the world. 12HIGH are incredibly proud to have worked with Water3 to help them change the way we consume water.

“There’s a real range of businesses that could benefit from 12HIGH. Especially if you don’t have a solid digital strategy or if you’re not integrating technology into your processes. Every business could benefit from that.” Damien Stone, Water3 Co-founder.

I listen to a lot of podcasts. In the car. On the train. While exercising. It keeps me up to date. Along the way, I’ve discovered some amazing digital podcasts with an Australian flavour. These podcasts range from strategy to marketing to business to technology to entrepreneurship. Some aren’t pure digital podcasts but are driven by digital themes.

Recently, a few people have recently asked for my best podcast recommendations. So here they are, my ten favourite Australian digital podcasts…

Download This Show
Download This Show podcast

Probably the most professionally produced show on this list, this ABC production is a weekly discussion around social media, technology, gadgets and politics. Hosted by (formerly that.movie.guy) Marc Fennell, he is joined by journalists and commentators from leading publications such as TechCrunch and Gizmodo. The best way to keep up with digital changes impacting the average person in an entertaining and often random way.
Released: Weekly
Length: 30 minutes
Episode Pick: ‘My Health Record explained (hopefully)’

Executive Stories
Executive Stories podcast

Corporate lawyer, Brad Vinning, opens up his contact book and records in-depth interviews with executive leaders across industry. Most guests are Brisbane based and range from start up founders to well established executives. It’s not a pure digital podcast but often dwells on digital subjects. It covers everything across business and life to understand how the best leaders operate. Very insightful.
Released: Fortnightly (sporadically)
Length: 45 minutes
Episode Pick: ‘Remy Brasaac on growing your business, making the tough calls and choosing your business partners’

Foundr Magazine Podcast
Foundr Magazine Podcast

A simple podcast which interviews successful entrepreneurs. It is now over 200 episodes deep and has had interviews with Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins and Gary Vaynerchuk. If you like these kind of entrepreneurs, you’ll like this podcast. If not, steer clear. Host Nathan Chan is friendly and genuinely inquisitive which encourages guests to open up and give more away than they normally would.
Released: Weekly
Length: 30-60 minutes
Episode Pick: ‘BigCommerce Co-Founder Talks Scaling to $100m While Minimizing Risk and Stress’

The Fractal Marketing Podcast
Fractal Marketing Podcast

Fractal are a Brisbane based marketing agency focused on servicing start ups. In this podcast, Fractal founder Gerard Doyle, dives deep into marketing concepts and detail to help start ups make progress. Gerard is extremely generous with his knowledge and often gives step by step guides or lists specific tools to make sure your digital marketing is effective. Great for new businesses and those looking for marketing detail.
Released: Weekly
Length: 30 minutes
Episode Pick: ‘SEO for Startups Part 1’

Moonshot
Moonshot podcast

A podcast dedicated to exploring future inventions and technology – often from a moral perspective as much as a technical perspective. Hosts Kristofer Lawson and Andrew Moon bring great guests and well researched topics to have insightful discussions which will leave you thinking and often, dreaming. From robots to space to biomedicine – the future is discussed here.
Released: Fortnightly (sporadically)
Length: 30 minutes
Episode Pick: ‘Designing a Driverless City’

Morgans Financial Limited
Morgans Financial Podcast

A daily podcast from the stockbroking and analyst team at Morgans. It gets really interesting for the digital crew when Chris Titley takes the reigns for his ’40 under 40′ and ‘Startup Series’. Chris explores the stories behind some of the most exciting startups that are on the brink of scale. A recent highlight was Chris’ mile high entrepreneur podcasts aboard Myriad Air from LA to Brisbane.
Released: Fortnightly
Length: 30 minutes
Episode Pick: ‘Jimmy Rees, Presenter Giggle and Hoot’

The Next Billion Seconds
The Next Billion Seconds Podcast

Inventor, writer, entrepreneur, educator and broadcaster, Mark Pesce, explores what the next billion seconds (just over 30 years) holds for humanity. Armed with some highly credentialed special guests (who are often creating the future), Mark deep dives on emerging technologies in a way which gives you tangible information while making you think. Onto his third season, this season is devoted to exploring Cryptonomics.
Released: Fortnightly (sporadically)
Length: 30-60 minutes
Episode Pick: ‘We Shouldn’t Have Made The Internet Free’

QUT Chair in the Economy
Chair in the Digital Economy podcast

A future focused podcast (and extension of the very insightful events), this podcast mixes research with industry to explore new technology and thinking focused on the Australian digital landscape. Hosted by Professor Michael Rosemann and Monica Bradley, I can guarantee that you will get one or two concepts per podcast which will make you think about some of the decisions you are making for the future.
Released: Bi-monthly (sporadically)
Length: 15 minutes
Episode Pick: ‘Digital Strategy of the Future’

The Simon Dell Show
The Simon Dell Show Podcast

A somewhat crazy and quite a lot sweary look at some of the biggest issues in marketing and business. Podcasts are hosted by Simon Dell and split into two halves. The first half is an out of control free for all (and very humorous) conversation with QUT’s Dr Edwina Luck and Channel Seven’s Patrick Condren. The second half is an in-depth interview with business leaders and range from Glenn Cooper (Chairman of Cooper’s Brewery) to Mike Goldman (former Big Brother host) to unknowns such as Nathan Bush.
Released: Weekly (roughtly)
Length: 60-90 minutes
Episode Pick: E7: ‘Justin Dry, joint CEO Vinmofo + the sausage debate, bears + chickens + more exaggersplaining’

Sweathead
Sweathead Podcast

Aussie now living and working in New York, Mark Pollard, interviews leading digital and marketing strategists from all over the world. The conversations dive into the concepts of strategy as well as the business of strategy. Just listening to Mark’s questioning style is a great insight into how Mark gets to real truths to crack the hardest briefs. It’s a great accompanyment to the Sweathead Facebook group (if you are lucky enought to be in it).
Released: Bi-weekly (sporadically)
Length: 45 minutes
Episode Pick: ‘Spend Your Privelege – Sarah Moran’

That’s 10! What have I missed? Help expand this list for others by leaving your favourite Australian digital podcasts in the comments below.

Written by Nathan Bush. Nathan is the founder and lead strategist at eCommerce consultancy, 12HIGH.

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Earlier this week, I was featured in the Which-50 cover story, ‘Change Is Hard. Here’s How To Build A Culture That Delivers Your Digital Transformation‘.

The article has some great tips on how to change culture as part of your digital transformation. I especially like the tip to give people a physical symbol – a plastic sword! – to indicate that they have permission to try new things.

In this article, I was quoted on what I believe is the underlying key to successfully managing change through transformation:

“I’m a little unsure whether people hate change or if people just hate change happening to them.”

To elaborate further on this, here are four stages (with tangible actions) to help transform culture as part of your digital transformation:

1. Story tell
Leaders need to be story tellers. A lot of people who implement a transformational strategy or who are in those leadership positions have been on that journey for a long time and they’ve seen what’s coming. It’s important that they can sell this vision all the way through the organisation from the start. Transformational stories can be created by answering questions such as; What happens if we do nothing? What are we going to do? What does success look like? These are great jumping off points to create an illustrative and inspiring story to get the team on board. Think about how you can share that story in a personalised but scalable method. This could be in the form of video, organisational wide conferences (physical and virtual) or through relevant media channels.

2. Involve
The story does not need to have all the answers. In fact, it is better if it doesn’t. The rough script should be; “We see the disruption in our industry, we understand it, we are changing and we want you to come along on the journey.” We need to include our teams to create the change we are going to implement.No one likes having change happen to them. While the vision is set, it is important to engage the team through empathy sessions, manager one on ones and direct feedback mechanisms such as surveys. Great organisations may push this one step further and ask their team to design the solution for them through organisational challenges such as shark tanks or innovation days. By ensuring the team are heard and building the change together, there will be less resistance during implementation.

3. Action
Culture is not a fluffy ambition which will happen organically by replacing technology, people or process. Culture is changing the standards we accept and the way achieve them. By understanding the way we are currently working and contrasting it with the desired way of working, we can make decisions and create an action plan. Changing the way of working might incorporate significant actions such as moving to different delivery methods such as agile, setting new behavioural standards through simple rules or a complete organisational restructure. Or it may be much simpler such as introducing new communication channels such as chat, changing the time we open/close the doors or introducing healthy snacks. Whichever  actions we decide to take needs to be carefully planned and communicated with the team to ensure that they can see tangible actions being undertaken. By having clear goals and end-points, we will be able to measure the impact these actions have had on your organisational culture.

4. Celebrate
It is important that the plan is broken down to identify key milestones and achievements. This does not mean the end of a project or, heaven forbid, the end of the transformational programme. After all, a digital transformation may take years! Celebration and recognition needs to be constant throughout the transformation to demonstrate real progress, create momentum and demonstrate a visible shift from where the culture once was. Key celebration points which are often overlooked include the on boarding of new team members or partners, positive shifts in customer feedback and key project milestones such as the end of the development or testing cycle. Celebration can range from a team email to a morning tea to a full blown party but it is public, positive and progressive.

I believe that these elements are key to ensuring that a change of culture is included and successful within your digital transformation. If done successfully, it will have more impact than any technology, capability or process ever could.

Nathan is the founder and lead strategist at 12HIGH. 12HIGH specialises in activating digital, eCommerce and marketing strategy. Contact Nathan

Today marks the inaugural flight for 12HIGH.

In 1903, another first flight took place: the first sustained, controlled flight by man. The first flight lasted only 12 seconds. It wasn’t completed by the modern day Dreamliner, but rather a machine that had been tinkered, altered and improved off the back of numerous failed attempts and prototypes. It took 12 seconds to deem the notion of flight possible. 12 seconds to transform everything about how mankind would go on to live, work and play.

The name 12HIGH has special meaning to me, as it embodies my guiding principle: clear direction with rapid action. The Wright Brothers didn’t write off the hundreds of failed attempts made to achieve flight as time wasted, they learned from them. They had a very clear vision of where they needed to go, and used their learnings and experience to execute significant action.

12HIGH aims to deliver more twelve second moments for our clients by activating strategy rapidly. 

I had an amazing six years as Group Digital Manager at Super Retail Group. In that time I was lucky to work with a talented team to help transform a traditional retail business into a truly omnichannel organisation. We drove huge eCommerce sales growth (120%+ last year). We replatformed our web and eCommerce platform onto Salesforce Commerce Cloud. We used design thinking, lean design and agile methodologies to establish our Test & Learn capability. We were awarded best multichannel retailer on multiple occasions and my personal contribution was recognised by the industry, awarding me a spot in Australia’s Top 50 People in eCommerce for four years running.

But there was one opportunity which kept standing out; the ability to turn business strategy into rapid action. And it’s not an opportunity limited to one organisation.

I have seen it in previous roles and heard it first hand from other business leaders. We spend huge amounts of time, money and effort to create strategies, often with large consultancy partners, which sit in bottom drawers gathering dust. We constantly prioritise, reprioritise and re-reprioritise what we might do. We spend more time talking and meeting about change than acting on it. We paralyse ourselves and our organisations because we are scared to fail.

If action without strategy is wasted effort, strategy without action is self-destruction. Given the pace at which our customers, technology and competitors are changing; a failure to act quickly is our quickest path to irrelevance. And I don’t know any organisation who is aiming for irrelevance.

So how do we change so that we can activate our strategy quickly?

We need to be able to think big but act small. We need to continually test and learn new ideas. We need to be flexible and respond quickly to change. We need our teams to be empowered and creative for continual innovation. We need our customers to validate our assumptions. We need to co-create for better outcomes. We need clear goals for quick decisions. We need to think of tomorrow and act today. We need to continually progress to remain relevant.

At 12HIGH, we translate strategy into short and long term action plans focused on validated customer insights, rapid action and continual innovation. We specialise in developing and activating digital, customer and eCommerce strategies to meet larger organisational objectives. Our test and learn methodology, the OODA Loop, combines design thinking, lean design and agile practises, to deliver rapid insights, prototyping and customer validation for any business problem.

That’s 12HIGH on day one. We have the vision and the experience to transform business strategy into action. And it starts today.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. I would love to continue the conversation. If 12HIGH’s approach resonates with you and your organisation, please reach out for a free initial consultation. If it doesn’t resonate, I’d love to know why. In true test and learn fashion, your feedback will be invaluable to shaping how 12HIGH continually transforms into the future.

Onwards and upwards,
Nathan

nathan@12high.com.au

A solid digital transformation strategy is the first step to ensuring you have the foundations to refocus your people, resources and efforts in the right direction. So what are the key elements you need to get right in your strategy in order to get your digital transformation off to the best start?

 

1. Alignment to organisational strategy
The purpose of a digital transformation isn’t to create a silo’d team, new goals or a second stream of projects. A successful digital transformation will enhance an organisational strategy by enhancing digital capability, technology and mindsets. Therefore, before commencing digital transformation work, it is crucial that the organisational mission, values, goals and strategy are clear in order to identify the gaps and the opportunities.
Successful digital transformation strategies accelerate towards a common goal, they don’t divide an organisation.
Key activities for success include:
  • Organisational strategy review
  • SWOT analysis 
  • Market analysis 

 

2. Customer validation
With consultants, senior leaders and strategists collaborating to deliver a digital transformation strategy, it will be natural to jump to unchallenged assumptions. These assumptions well may be valid and based on previous experience, market trends and academic research. However, to ensure it is relevant for your unique customer, each major assumption needs to be qualified with real customers before making major decisions which will determine your relevancy.
Getting customer validation doesn’t mean that you always have to do what your customers want.

Your customers may not know what they want until they see it. However, if you are going to take your customers in a new direction, you need to know their motivations and plan the change journey you will take them on.

Key activities for success include:

  • Customer empathy 
  • Customer journey mapping
  • Future trend analysis 

 

3. Co-creation
The easiest path to delivering a digital transformation strategy is to bring the digital subject matter experts into a room, extract a bunch of information and have a consultant come back with a shiny slide deck. This approach will be time efficient but unlikely to deliver transformational thinking and a viable action plan.
An effective digital transformation strategy will be formed by engaging those who can contribute to a wide business lens and a diverse problem solving mindset.

A  digital subject matter experts, senior leadership, your front line team, creative start ups, technology partners and if we really go crazy, real customers! Using this team to create the outputs will ensure that change management can be effectively planned and we get endorsement of the strategy from day one.

Key activities for success include:

  • Open forums
  • Design challenges
  • Progress showcases 

 

4. Boulders, rocks and pebbles
Digital transformation can be daunting. This is magnified when the output is a list of multi-year, multi-million dollar, interdependent projects which span a horizon likely to reach the launch of iPhone23.
The truth is, we can’t be sure we know what the digital landscape will look like in 12 months, let alone 12 years. But we need to start now.

Therefore, digital transformation actions need to be split into boulders (big foundational projects likely to take years), rocks (medium sized initiatives which can be implemented this year) and pebbles (the tactical improvements to test immediately). By ensuring we have various sized actions we can ensure we can start today, plan for tomorrow and create long term momentum.

Key activities for success include:

  • Time boxed goals
  • Test & learn initiatives
  • Post-strategy 90 day plan

 

5. Decisions (not necessarily alignment)
When creating a digital transformation strategy, it is inevitable that there will be opinions which do not align. This is not only OK, it is constructive. We want our key stakeholders to have the opportunity to be heard and contribute to the solution. Then, even if there is not consensus on the approach, we need public agreement on a way forward. By having these open conversations and decision endorsement, it is more likely that action will follow strategy.
The most dangerous behavior is implied consensus and silent dissent.

For big decisions, especially around people or technology, silent dissent is likely to lead to politics and wheel spinning rather than action post strategy delivery.

Key activities for success include:

  • Design principles 
  • Affinity mapping
  • Clear sign-off


The one thing that all these elements have in common? A successful digital transformation strategy comes down to HOW we create rather than WHAT we create.  By aligning to one organisational strategy, engaging stakeholders (especially customers), incorporating diverse viewpoints, clear decision endorsement and immediately actionable next steps, you will set your digital transformation up for success.

Nathan is the founder and lead consultant at 12HIGH. 12HIGH specialises in establishing digital strategy including digital transformation, Test & Learn capabilities, eCommerce optimisation and customer connection. Contact 12HIGH now